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Mol Reprod Dev. 2016 Jan;83(1):61-70. doi: 10.1002/mrd.22591. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Efficient modification of the myostatin gene in porcine somatic cells and generation of knockout piglets.

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Research and Development Center, NH Foods Ltd., Tsukuba, Japan.
Department of Life Sciences, Laboratory of Development Engineering, School of Agriculture, Meiji University, Kawasaki, Japan.
Department of Mathematical and Life Sciences, Graduate School of Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima, Japan.


Myostatin (MSTN) is a negative regulator of myogenesis, and disruption of its function causes increased muscle mass in various species. Here, we report the generation of MSTN-knockout (KO) pigs using genome editing technology combined with somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) with non-repeat-variable di-residue variations, called Platinum TALEN, was highly efficient in modifying genes in porcine somatic cells, which were then used for SCNT to create MSTN KO piglets. These piglets exhibited a double-muscled phenotype, possessing a higher body weight and longissimus muscle mass measuring 170% that of wild-type piglets, with double the number of muscle fibers. These results demonstrate that loss of MSTN increases muscle mass in pigs, which may help increase pork production for consumption in the future.

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